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This article was published 1/9/2015 (2114 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Some aspiring actors take years to find their first part in a full-length film, but some actors find their passion — and opportunity — a little earlier in life.
Abigail Pniowsky, 7, recently spent 10 days working on the set of Story of Your Life. The feature takes place during an alien invasion and stars Amy Adams. Adams’ character is given the job of figuring out whether the visitors are a threat, and Abigail plays the part of her daughter.
"She had a really good time doing it," Abigail’s mother, Tracey Pniowsky said. "She had to do costume fittings and dye her hair. She loves it."
Abigail got into acting at the age of five and began to take classes at the Expressions Film Studio on Sherbrook Street. The instructors there helped Abigail prepare for auditions and she was cast in several movies, as well as the CityTV comedy, Sunnyside.
"Our classes are about being confident and comfortable in your own body and movements," Expressions owner and instructor Reena Shah said. "The students learn a lot of life skills, they learn about themselves and self-expression and empowerment."
Abigail took her role seriously and remained professional during the arduous shooting process, showing a sense of focus that most seven-year-olds would find difficult to maintain.
"We were all sitting around and everybody was chatting, and then Abby got up and ran away," Tracey said. "When we asked where she was going, she said, ‘The director is calling us, we have to go now!’"
Tracey said that Abigail clicked with Adams on set, and the pair spent a lot of time together between takes.
"We were thrilled for Abby because Adams is great to work with, and had a wonderful way on set… she was a great model for Abby."
For Abigail and her sister, Anna Pniowsky, acting is more fun than work. The family has agreed that meeting with agents and going to auditions will last only as long as the girls are enjoying it.
"It’s fun because you get to pretend," Abigail said. But the starlet also learned a thing or two about work ethic at Expressions.
"Our studio is built on the foundation of being quite structured in order to ensure that the child has learned the basics of acting," Shah said. "Some kids come because they’re interested in working in the film industry and want to see themselves in movies and commercials, and other students want to build their skill set and learn about the creative part of being an actor. It’s an art form but it’s wonderful because you can also work professionally."
Story of Your Life will be released in 2016.
Community journalist — The Metro
Alana Trachenko was the community journalist for The Metro